The next few years - the years between now and the year 2000 - will decide how Asia's Pacific Rim will integrate itself into a rapidly changing world economy. Will it be as a number of independent countries and economies fiercely competing with one another? Will it be through a number of regional trade blocs, as the prime minister of Malaysia has suggested? Or will it be as one - and by far the biggest - of the new superblocs such as those into which the West is now organizing itself, each free trade inside but heavily protectionist outside? Whichever way the decision goes, it will profoundly change Asia as well as world economy and world politics. And the decision is being forced on the Asian countries of the Pacific Rim both by developments outside, that is, in the West, and by their own economic growth.